Experienced practitioners from diverse organisations came together to discuss threatened species monitoring at the workshop entitled ‘Enhancing Monitoring
for Threatened Species to Improve Conservation Outcomes.’
Government, NGO, community group and university representatives presented case studies, the insights from which helped shape lively discussion around the decisions, processes and challenges of threatened species monitoring.
Participants unanimously agreed that monitoring is an essential part of threatened species recovery; however, they asked why threatened species monitoring is rarely carried out, and why, when it is carried out, is it rarely effective in terms of positively affecting conservation outcomes?
Discussion revolved around solutions to this problem, including the potential for new technologies (drones, thermal cameras) to aid with monitoring design, the value of citizen science, and the contribution of Indigenous groups to threatened species monitoring.
One of the insights from the workshop was the need to include people at all stages of monitoring design and application. Hub researcher, Natasha Robinson, from the Australian National University observed that “to improve threatened species conservation we need people to engage with and value threatened species monitoring.”
“Practitioners need to demonstrate the value of on-going monitoring through reporting on our successes (and failures), and to engage with a broad range of people – from community, to land managers, to Indigenous people, to funding bodies and government.
“Without support from these different groups, monitoring is at risk of not being integrated into decision making and on ground management, and therefore not contributing to positive conservation outcomes.”
On-ground threatened species conservation will be assisted by practical guidelines - under development as part of this project - that aim to enhance the effectiveness of threatened species monitoring. See more information.
Image: Long-term monitoring of threatened species comes with its challenges (image supplied by Natasha Robinson)
It is Threatened Species Day on 7 September. If you are a threatened species in Australia, chances are you are on Indigenous-managed land, as it is the last stronghold for many species which have been lost from the wider landscape .
New research has found that habitat loss is a major concern for hundreds of Australian bird species, and south-eastern Australia has been the worst affected. The Threatened Species Recovery Hub study found that half of all native bird species have each lost almost two-thirds of their natural habitat across Victoria, parts of South Australia and New South Wales.
Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ) Rangers in the Martu Determination have collaborated with Threatened Species Recovery Hub scientists to design a monitoring program for mankarr (the greater bilby). Martu people identified priorities for the bilby monitoring program, then worked with Dr Anja Skroblin from The University of Melbourne to co-develop a monitoring method which brings together Martu knowledge and practice with Western conservation science.
I am a proud Murri from the Kamilaroi Nation in north-west New South Wales. I grew up in western Sydney on Darug land and now live in Canberra on Ngunnawal land.
A new project is aiming to increase city kids’ connections with nature, threatened species conservation and Indigenous culture. Dr Georgia Garrard from RMIT University talks about this project, which will see Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Traditional Owners working with kids at Carlton North Primary School in Melbourne and Gunditjmara Traditional Owners working with kids at Heywood Consolidated School in western Victoria.